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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Bumps Are Boring
September 20, 2006 by Chris Evans


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I remember being about thirteen years old. My mom worked nights at a hospital and I had a babysitter come and stay with me. While we were clicking through the channels one night, I happened to stumble upon a gritty, dark, seedy looking wrestling show on MSG Network. I remember distinctly watching two wrestlers grab a female and power-bomb her through a table. I sat there, my mouth wide open, staring at the screen thinking "What the hell is this"" My babysitter, to say the least, was disgusted.

Well, I was on a mission from then on. I had to find out what this company was, because while part of it made me feel a little disgusted, another part of it captivated in a way that I knew the WWF or the WCW never could captivate me.

I'd watch every week. I'd watch wrestlers take cheesegraters to each other's heads. I'd watch men go through dozens of tables from a scaffold. I'd watch people getting thrown into barb wire. I watched Shane Douglas break Pitbull 1's neck. I thought, wasn't this guy a teacher in WWF" Geez, he must have really fallen off.

Extreme Championship Wrestling was not the falling off point. I was wrong. It was a rebirth of professional wrestling. It took professional wrestling leftovers, tossed in new ingredients, and while not a filet mignon of WWF, it was the best damn skirt steak Philly I had ever tasted.

But something happened. WWF caught on. They started using tables in THEIR company as well. They started the Hell in the Cell Match. They busted people open on a regular basis, practically once a week it seemed. I turned on WCW Monday Nitro and saw Chris Kanyon falling from a three tiered cage, a bump which I'm sure would have emitted an enthusiastic "E-C-Dub!" or a "Holy Sh-t" chant from the die-hard Philly fans. Everything was becoming the same. Hell, even some of the ECW talent, such as Tazz and the Dudleys debuted in WWF and brought their hardcore, table breaking, violent style to everyone's living room on Monday Night.

You'd think this would be a good thing for professional wrestling, huh" Take something that was a cult phenomenon like ECW and use that style on broadcast cable. It was. It really was for a while. Then, it just kind of stopped.

The excitement for me was gone. Those crazy bumps that those South Philadelphia warriors were taking every week were now being done by all three companies. Then, of course, ECW and WCW went out of business. And as you all know, WWE has revived ECW in the hopes of bringing back that enthusiastic feeling. They are trying to bring back that passion. It will not work. How many tables have I seen broken" How many ladders have I seen people fall off" How many times can Sabu leap over the top rope through a table" How many times can Mic Foley get busted open" How many times can Terry Funk wrap himself in barb wire"

My point, folks, is not that I don't appreciate what these men and women do to their bodies. My fear is that the audience of professional wrestling has become desensitized. They have adopted a "so-what" kind of attitude to a style that used to be so innovative and unique - and incredibly dangerous and risky. It's going to lead to wrestlers going to ridiculous means to pop a crowd - in vein. Let's face it - CZW is very big now with its reckless death match antics - is that the bar we want to set for WWE competitors"

by a href="mailto:ceme1984@yahoo.com">Chris Evans


Ike Eisen wrote:
Ever since WWE won the Monday Night Wars they've been pushing away from the more brutal types of matches. What's the point of constantly going for high spots when you have no other wrestling company going head to head against you" The Hell in a Cell between DX and the McMahons was the first one in several years. The Elimination Chamber is an annual event. WWE's version of ECW is pushing more regular matches instead of the traditional "anything goes" fights its predecessor had, complete with DQ endings. This way these big matches won't go stale so quickly, and the wrestlers will won't be exposed to such dangers all the time. Right now it's usually the smaller feds that push these brutal matches, usually going further than what WWE is doing, because it's a surefire way to get noticed.

If anything, the hardcore, bloody type of wrestling WWE is pushing is focused mostly on guys that have made a name for themselves doing such matches: Foley, Edge, Sabu, HHH, Michaels, etc. And even then WWE is trying to condition the fans to accept guys like Sandman, Balls Mahoney and Sabu doing regular, non-hardcore fighting. They're conditioning the fans to accept that huge matches that have someone go through a flaming table or get tossed off the roof of a cage are for SPECIAL occasions, and shouldn't be done on every other RAW. Such efforts take time.
Jesse Lee wrote:
Nowadays, you have to look for what you like. TNA's X-division do a ton of bumps in their PPV matches, but I get bored with that. WWE is all about the story than the action. I haven't seen enough of RoH to comment on it. It just depends on what you like. If you like more action in the ring, then maybe TNA or RoH would be the place to go. If you like more story into the match, then WWE usually gives out the best.

This isn't a knock on any particular wrestler, just the company as a whole. I agree, bumps get boring. I often tune out of TNA during some of their matches simply because nothing catches my attention. After the first 80 flips, it gets boring. WWE isn't great either. They often enjoy doing the whole "art of suspension" act. Announcing of what should be a big match at the end of the show, have four matches a night with a ton of segments and commercials. While today, they're putting a lot of support on Cena (whom I wouldn't say is the greatest wrestler) they also have a roster full of younger/fresher stars for the future. Again, it all comes down to what you like to see.
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